Missouri River Trophy fishing

Late August is treating us well. Cooler weather and water have our trout raring to go and happily feeding again. As one guide said the other day, “The fish look like themselves again.” Good news here after a long hot spell: you can see the hills again, the weather is getting nicer, and the famous MO trout are eating a smorgasbord of nymphs, dries, and streamers.

Nymphing: The nymph bite has picked up with the drop in water temps. Fish are willingly eating flies fish over fast grassy flats and runs with a good mix of depth and current. Don’t disregard the skinny gravel-bottomed riffles either. Hit the buckets. Most folks are fishing some kind of big bug-little bug combo. Worms and crayfish varieties serve as the top bug on a lot of rigs right now. Midges and small brown bugs are the go to droppers out there, with small Pheasant tail type stuff fishing well. We like the Psycho May, Frenchie, Two Bit, Radiation Baetis and a smattering of other things in #16-18. Weight is very optional at this point in the season. There are some grass free lanes in all stretches of the river if you want to avoid the bumper boat situation up top by the dam, but of course the top 2 miles have the least amount of grass.

Dry flies: Pseudos are out there right now with some small caddis and hoppers to get you through the afternoon. The Pseudo hatch does get a few fish moving, and they will often eat an attractor pattern in their lane with a good drift. There’s also the usual smattering of late-summer Callibaetis. Don’t overthink that hatch-fish a big grey spinner or an Adams blind over the flats if you see a few around. Elsewhere, the hopper bite has waxed and waned a bit, but there are still some good afternoons left fishing the big bug. Purple and pink have been the best hopper colors of late, and the fish are eating the size #8 pretty well. Fish it out in the middle of the river over the flats. You’ll be more consistent doing that than if you throw your hopper right at the bank (because there’s usually not enough water there).

Streamers: The streamer bite is starting to heat up on the MO. The Sparkle Yummy, Keller’s Mouthwash, and Doc’s Articulator have been the fly of choice lately. Target buckets over flats and areas with good current. Streamer fish the hopper water and you will be rewarded with some nice fish.

Other bulletins: Shop hours are now 6:30-5 everyday of the week. We still have free coffee, available guides, and fishing licenses right here in our store in Craig. Thanks for reading- we’ll see you out here in the building or on the river!

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